This report, produced in 2008 with some funding from the Joseph Rowntree Charitable Trust, asked whether young people and their parents are provided with the information they need to make a genuinely informed choice about joining the armed forces. It also challenged the UK’s low enlistment age: 16.
The report was the first independent inquiry into the materials and practices used to persuade young people to join the armed forces. It’s quite a lengthy report, since it also attempted to documented a number of risks to young people that follow enlistment. Among these were (and are) a high rate of bullying and the very restrictive terms of service, which can bind young people to the armed forces for a number of years with no right to leave.
Most of the statistics are now out of date but the report’s main findings are still relevant.
It was the first big report I put together. Brian Phillips was a kind and very effective mentor to me throughout.
The report is now hosted on the ForcesWatch site, here.